The Populist Movement and the People’s Party
- The core assignment of this course is a documented research paper (1500-2000 words in length = approx. 5 – 7 pages double spaced, 12-point font).
- The essay should support a thesis statement with information gained from research or investigation.
- The paper will not be just a report presenting information, but will be an essay that carefully examines and presents your own historical interpretation of the topic you have chosen and your interpretation of the information you have gathered.
- The paper may include consideration of problems and solutions, define key terms, or refute arguments against your thesis statement.
It will be important to choose a topic of interest to you.
- Approach this assignment with an open and skeptical mind, then form an opinion based on what you have discovered.
- You must suspend belief while you are investigating and let the discoveries shape your opinion. (This is a thesis-finding approach.)
- Once you have found your thesis, write the paper to support it.
You will use some of the following critical thinking skills in this process:
- Choosing an appropriate topic, limiting the topic
- Gathering information, summarizing sources
- Analyzing and evaluating sources
- Defining key terms
- Synthesizing information, comparing and contrasting sources
- Testing a thesis, making an historical argument, using refutation
- Amassing support for a position
- Documenting sources
Because this may be a longer essay than you have written before and a complex process is involved, it is recommended that you complete this paper using the following steps:
- Choose a topic related to U.S. History after 1877 that you would truly like to explore and that you are willing to spend some time on. Your chosen topic should be focused. Pose a question that you really want to answer. You may want to begin with more than one topic in mind.
- Do some preliminary reading on the topic(s). You may begin with the textbook, then further explore the information available. Refine your topic. Summarize your topic, your interest in the topic, the questions you want to answer, and a hypothesis you want to test.
- Gather information from a variety of sources. Use a minimum of four sources for your paper, and at least one must be a primary source.
- They are sources that are contemporary to the times under investigation.
- An example of a secondary source is our textbook, though the textbook also contains excerpts of primary sources, which you may use as a source in your essay.
- Outline the results of your research and then plan for your essay (note you are not required to submit the outline).
- Write the final draft and be sure to include a Works Cited List; be sure to use the correct MLA documentation style.
- History Majors Only: Your paper must be written in Chicago/Turabian Manual of Style.
Grade RubricINTRODUCTION & THESIS: The essay makes a clear and effective statement (the thesis) about the chosen topic. /30FOCUS AND DEVELOPMENT: Body of the essay focuses on this thesis and develops it fully, recognizing the complexity of issues. /60SUPPORT AND SYNTHESIS: Uses sufficient and relevant evidence to support the thesis (and primary points), including facts, inferences, and judgments. Quotes, summarizes, and paraphrases accurately and effectively–appropriately introducing and explaining each quote. /60CONVENTIONS: Uses MLA format correctly; includes a Works Cited list; is free of errors. /20CORRECTNESS AND STYLE: Shows critical thinking and depth of understanding; uses appropriate tone; shows sophistication in language usage and sentence structure. /30
- TOTAL: 200
HELPFUL ITEMS FOR COMPLETING AN A+ RESEARCH PAPER
1. What is a primary source? http://www.library.
2. What is a secondary source? http://www.library.
3. How do I access academic and scholarly articles? Your college fees provide you with access to the library’s databases of academic articles. You must learn to use databases as sources found in a simple Google search will not necessarily yield peer-reviewed academic work. Further, learning how to use and access databases is vital to your success as you reach upper division coursework. Please follow the directions below:
a. Go to CTC’s Library Website: http://www.ctcd.edu/
b. Scroll down the page until you see a blue underlined link for “Databases” and click on it.
c. A page labeled “Databases” will pop up with multi-colored listings ordered by discipline.
d. For our purposes, click “A-Z Listing of Databases,” which should generate a drop down menu of all of the databases available to you.
e. Scroll down to a database named “JSTOR,” and click on it. **Note: The CTC Library Database no longer has JSTOR, but these directions work the same with Academic Search Complete or any number of other databases available to you**
f. This will generate an “Online Database Login” screen. Please follow the directions carefully as your username and password may not be the same as your Blackboard user name and password. When you have entered your user name and password, click “Login.”
g. You are now in JSTOR and may search for your desired topic of study. Let’s do an example, please follow along i. Let’s say I’m writing a research paper on the effects of shell shock on WWI veterans. ii. Enter “shell shock” in the search bar and click the magnifying glass. iii. Oh dear, this search has yielded 287 pages worth of materials! Far too many! a. Click Modify Search to right hand side of the box. b. Click “Advanced Search” below the search box. c. Enter “Shell shock” AND “WW1” d. To narrow my results further for more accurate and up-to-date study, I will scroll down and limit my search to articles written since 1990. e. Press search at the bottom of the screen after reviewing the other options on the page. f. Uh-oh! I’ve found one page of articles, but they appear to be on shoreline science and biology. Let’s go back. g. Change the second part of your search box from WW1 to World War and the date range from 1960 to 2016 and search. h. Voila! Articles titled “The injured mind in the UK Armed Forces,” “Historical Approached to Post-Combat Disorders,” and “Psychiatric Casualties of War” are listed. These are much better sources than could be found by simple Google searches.
4. Am I allowed to cite Wikipedia? No. Please do not use Wikipedia for this course. It is not an academic source.
5. What about writing style? Use the third person. Always make sure you provide an eye-catching title. Avoid rhetorical questions in your introduction. Make sure you have a clear thesis!
6. Is there help available to review my work? Yes! The college’s writing lab, which you’ve already paid for with your fees, has a draft-review service and can be very helpful to improving your formal writing.
Solution PreviewThe later years of the nineteenth century were highly consequential to the country’s economic success, strife, and civil movement engagement in the United States. It marked a period during which people became more actively…